Saxo Markets Review
Saxo Markets offers U.K. residents an excellent share dealing experience by combining the brilliant SaxoTraderGO trading platform with over 30,000 international products to trade across 40 global exchanges. The one downside is pricing: Saxo Markets' costs are significantly higher than most of its U.K. competitors.
Saxo Markets pros & cons
- SaxoTraderGO is a great trading platform, encompassing many tools whilst still being very user-friendly.
- The equivalent mobile trading app is also excellent.
- Extremely broad product offering, including stocks, ETFs, bonds, and forex CFDs, plus the ability to open tax-advantageous SIPP and ISA accounts.
- It’s on the expensive side, with a minimum £8 per trade for U.K. stocks and custody fees of at least £100 per year.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platform & Tools|
Commissions & fees
Commissions at Saxo are only competitive for traders with a large enough balance to achieve Platinum or VIP status. Otherwise, the base £8 minimum per trade is significantly high when compared to Trading 212, Freetrade, Capital.com, DEGIRO and Finecobank.
Saxo offers three account types: Classic, Platinum, and VIP. For simplicity, we focused on the Classic account, which requires only a £500 minimum deposit and is the base account type at Saxo. Platinum accounts require a £200,000 deposit, and VIP accounts require a £1,000,000 deposit; both come with discounted trades.
Shares trading fees: To buy and sell U.K.-listed shares, new clients default to the Classic pricing plan. Under this base pricing, U.K. traders can buy shares for 0.10% per trade (with an £8 minimum). Meanwhile, U.K. traders who trade on foreign exchanges are subject to different commission charges, depending on the exchange. For example, trading on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange will cost $10.
Beyond regular share-dealing fees, Saxo charges several other account fees traders should be aware of, including custody fees, market data subscription fees, and inactivity fees.
- Custody fee: To buy and sell U.K.-listed shares, new clients default to the Classic pricing plan. Under this base pricing, U.K. traders can buy shares for 0.10% per trade (with an £8 minimum). Meanwhile, U.K. traders who trade on foreign exchanges are subject to different commission charges, depending on the exchange. For example, trading on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange will cost $10.
- Market data subscription Fee: To receive real-time market data, traders pay a monthly fee to the exchange, and fees vary depending on the exchange. For example, the London Stock Exchange basic streaming quotes (nonprofessional) cost £6 per month. Similarly, U.S. exchanges (NASDAQ and NYSE) each cost $7 per month.
- Inactivity fee: Saxo charges a fee of £25 if the account has been inactive in the previous quarter. For example, if no shares are traded during January, February, or March, a £25 fee would be charged to the account during the first week of April.
Scenario pricing: When calculating annual share dealing costs, trading frequency and account balance are the two most important factors to consider. Assuming a £30,000 portfolio in a traditional, taxable share dealing account, here are four scenarios of how much Saxo Markets would cost based on trade frequency:
- 5 deals per year = £142 (£102 annual custody fees) + (£8 x 5)
- 12 deals per year = 98 (£102 annual custody fees) + (£8 x 12)
- 36 deals per year = 390 (102 annual custody fees) + (£8 x 36)
- 120 deals per year = 1062 (102 annual custody fees) + (£8 x 120)
- 3 fund deals per year = £126 (102 annual custody fees) + (£8 x 5)
Saxo Markets pricing summary:
|Share Trading: 0-9 Deals/ Month||0.10% (£8 min)|
|Share Trading: 10-19 Deals/ Month||0.10% (£8 min)|
|Share Trading: 20+ Deals/ Month||0.10% (£8 min)|
|Annual Custody Fee: £0 - £250,000||0.12% (min. €120 or £ equivalent)|
|Annual Custody Fee: £250K-£500K||0.12%|
|Annual Custody Fee: £500,000 - £1m||0.12%|
|Annual Custody Fee: £1m and over||0.12%|
|ETFs - Fee||0.10% (£8 min)|
|Investment Trusts - Fee||0.10% (£8 min)|
|Telephone Dealing Fee||£50.00|
Mobile trading apps
The SaxoTraderGO mobile app encompasses the excellence of the desktop platform we look at below. Placing trades is quick and easy, while watchlists and price alerts synchronize with the desktop platform. Selecting a stock from your watchlist allows the trader to pull up fundamentals, a chart, and trading signals.
Practically everything from the desktop platform transfers over to the mobile app, except for some research data such as broker forecasts. Overall, the SaxoTraderGO mobile app is our favorite for share dealing in the U.K.
Other platforms & tools
Saxo offers two platforms, SaxoTraderGO (web-based) and SaxoTraderPRO (desktop-based). For our testing, we focused primarily on SaxoTraderGO, the more widely used platform of the two.
SaxoTraderGO usability: SaxoTraderGO offers a crisp, clean design focused on usability. It's a brilliant platform. Watchlists display neatly on the left side of the platform. Watchlists link to the product overview on the right side of the platform, so clicking on a new symbol automatically refreshes the chart. Adding new stocks to a watchlist or adding price alerts is a seamless experience.
The best part of SaxoTraderGO is the speed and simplicity at which the platform operates. Going from a stock overview to charting technical indicators, then finally placing a trade, is flawless. There are no unnecessary steps or tabs, as you so often see with other U.K. broker platforms.
SaxoTraderGO charting: A total of 62 technical indicators can be added, 20 drawing tools are available for annotations, and trades can be placed and managed directly on the chart. Seven bar types are available, and I appreciated the ability to set custom time-period views. The customization offered allows traders to identify trends efficiently.
SaxoTraderPRO: The broker's flagship desktop platform is SaxoTraderPRO, which resembles SaxoTraderGO in terms of look and feel. Functionality is similar; however, the PRO platform offers a more extensive selection of professional trading features. For example, PRO supports six monitors, streaming Level 2 order books, streaming time and sales, and algorithmic orders. Additional data subscriptions are required to use tools like the streaming Level 2 order book, a standard industry practice.
Saxo Markets trading tools:
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||62|
|Charting - Drawing Tools||20|
|Charting - Notes||Yes|
|Charting - Display Corporate Events||No|
|Charting - Stock Overlays||Yes|
|Charting - Index Overlays||Yes|
While most U.K.-based brokers provide basic research experience, Saxo goes above and beyond, delivering research through the SaxoTraderGO platform as well as on its website in a Trade Inspiration section (which has replaced TradingFloor.com). The typical SaxoTraderGO quote includes a chart, news, general company information, analyst recommendations (provided by TipRanks), and fundamental data.
Research features: The research tab on SaxoTraderGO includes news, market analysis, an economic calendar with global events, gainers and losers for each exchange, and trade signals provided by Autochartist. News ranges from in-house analysts who publish daily analysis through Saxo Bank's Market Analysis portal to content provided by numerous third-party providers.
Traders who analyze global markets will love the high-level breakdown of each exchange provided in the equities section on Saxo's research platform. Investors who focus on technical analysis will be pleased with the chart patterns provided by Autochartist that identify trading signals. Investors can also view research by asset class, with sections for stocks, forex, commodities, ETFs and bonds. Additionally, there is a “Quarterly Outlook” section, with Saxo analysts posting longer-term thought pieces, in both written and video form. The Quarterly Outlook can also be downloaded.
SaxoTraderPRO: Saxo Bank's desktop platform offers even more research tools than its web counterpart, including screeners, Level 2 order books, and equity research reports from FactSet.
Trade Inspiration: Outside of SaxoTraderGO, Saxo offers a trade inspiration section that has replaced TradingFloor.com, its former social-trading platform. Here traders can access research from the Saxo strategy team, SaxoStrats, and also download the daily podcast, which is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean and Stitcher.
Saxo Markets research:
|Research - Shares||Yes|
|Research - CFDs||Yes|
|Research - Funds||Yes|
|Fund Research - Research Reports||No|
|Research - ETFs||Yes|
|Research - Bonds||Yes|
|Portfolio Allocation Breakdown||Yes|
Offering of investments
Saxo Markets provides one of the most extensive international offerings of all brokers we tested in our survey. The Saxo Markets share dealing offering enables trading of over 19,000 stocks alongside 3,000 ETFs across 40 global exchanges. CFD trading is also offered for over 9,000 products, including indices, stocks, and commodities.
Saxo offers ISAs, SIPPs, Joint, Corporate, and Trust accounts to qualified U.K. residents. While ISA accounts have no minimum deposit requirement, SIPP accounts require £10,000 to be opened.
SaxoSelect: Saxo Markets also offer SaxoSelect portfolios, which gauge your risk appetite and recommend portfolios from companies such as BlackRock and Morningstar. Each portfolio is composed of different assets and has a different objective and risk tolerance.
Saxo Markets offering of investments:
|Bonds - Corporate||Yes|
|Bonds - Government (Gilts)||Yes|
For traders new to markets or asset classes, Saxo provides interactive video courses in an “Introduction to Trading” section. The videos in the series conclude with a quiz to test your knowledge. For example, the course "CFDs – An Introduction" includes a video lesson, a quiz, and a summary video wrapping up the course.
Another section is dedicated to risk management, with lessons including “Building your trading plan” and “Risk-management know-how.”
This robust offering of education elevates a solid learning environment. Clients can also sign up for upcoming webinars and view archived webinars on demand; new webinars are offered on average once a week.
Saxo Markets education:
|Has Education - Share Trading||Yes|
|Has Education - Funds||No|
|Has Education - Retirement||No|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||Yes|
Saxo provides its clients with an excellent all-round trading experience, offering a robust trading platform alongside high-quality news and research. Clients in over 180 countries and more than 1 million transactions processing each day are testament to the broker’s appeal.
That said, the trading costs are substantially higher than competitors, some of whom also provide an excellent all-round experience. Traders will ultimately have to decide if Saxo offers enough to justify the additional costs.
About Saxo Markets
Saxo Markets is the U.K.-based subsidiary of Saxo Bank Group. Established in 1992, Saxo Bank is a Danish investment bank that provides international investors access to trading over 30,000 products covering CFDs, forex, equities, options, futures, and bonds. With headquarters in Copenhagen and clients in over 180 countries, Saxo Bank is privately held, manages more than USD15 billion in AUM, and processes over 1 million transactions every day.
In this review, I focus on Saxo Capital Markets UK Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Saxo Markets has operated as an independent entity in the U.K. since 2006.
For the 2021 StockBrokers.com U.K. Review, we assessed, rated, and ranked 11 U.K. share dealing platforms over a 10-week time period. Each broker was exhaustively tested on all available platforms and graded on 53 different variables. In total, over 17,000 words of research were produced.
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About the Editor
Carolyn Kimball is managing editor for Reink Media and the lead editor for the StockBrokers.com Annual Review. Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.
About the Author
Steve Miley With 30 years of experience in institutional financial markets, Steve has won multiple awards from Technical Analyst Magazine, including "Best Independent Fixed Income" and "Best FX Research." In addition to his work with StockBrokers.com, Steve is the founder of The Market Chartist, where he provides market research for institutional clients; and is editor-in-chief for FXExplained.co.uk.